Meet Our Fabric

Happy National Textiles Day!

When you click on a pair of Shells in our catalog to get a better look, have you ever thought to scroll down to the bottom of the product page? If not, you’re missing out – there’s some good stuff down there. Below the product description and 360° viewer is a rundown of what goes into making a pair of Shells.

In honor of National Textiles Day, we thought it was only appropriate to focus on the first element of what makes them so great:

The Fabric

 

#SweetsTrifecta

#SweetsTrifecta by Big Gal Yoga

When we first started Bombsheller, we traveled the world and the seven seas in search of a material we could wear on the run or on the runway. In Italy, we found Fabric Fatale.

There’s absolutely no question as to why we fell in love with this material:

Fabric Icons Row-02 (2)

 

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This 4-way stretch polyester/spandex blend hugs your body while still allowing for comfortable movement, like a second skin. It’s kinda like being naked – but better.

 

 

We love the versatility that this material provides, especially when combined with our catalogue of designs. There are few items of clothing that really can be worn out on the street or to a fashionable event, but also the gym or over a mountain, and still be a great option for lying on your couch all day.

 

 

The vast majority of the designs in our catalog are submitted by independent artists, and we wanted to make sure we could do their art justice. Quality art deserves a quality medium, right? This fabric is perfect for sublimation printing; some artists put some serious details into their designs, and they come through loud and clear!

#ZapBangPow

#ZapBangPow by Ivy Chen

The icing on this already-delicious cake? It’s bluesign® certified. The bluesign® system aims for clean, ethical textile production and minimizing environmental impact using these five basic principles:

Air Emission

Water Emission 

Resource Productivity 

Occupational Health & Safety 

Consumer Safety 

Overall it’s a pretty sweet system, and it helps us leave a smaller carbon footprint. You can read more about the bluesign® system by clicking here.

Launching Sizes 3XL and 4XL

It’s a big day for big babes! Today we launched a collection of designs available up to size 4XL.

#WeaponOfChoice

#WeaponOfChoice

We are really excited to have something to share with all the friends we’ve made in the plus size community. We’ve learned more about plus size fashion than we ever imagined and we’re happy about bringing something positive to the table.
#ElectricZebra    #SpaceStripes
Getting here was more work than we expected. At the outset, it seemed like all we needed to do was scale artwork. We have computers and people who know math! How hard could it be? Turns out it’s not that simple.

Adapting Art
There are over 500 designs in the catalog. Adapting 500 designs to new sizes would take a little bit if they were all the same, but they are not. Everything at Bombsheller is constantly being improved, including our design template. We’ve been through 13 versions! That means we have lots of designs made with old versions of the template, and all of them would have to be updated before they can be adapted to the new sizes. On top of that, some of the designs are supposed to map to body parts and require more finessing from the artist to make them 3X-friendly.

Shopping Experience
We want shopping on our website to be easy. You should be able to find what you’re looking for and you should have a clear understanding of what you’re about to buy. So integrating new sizes to the website forced us to ask a lot of questions: should we just add more sizes to the drop-down menu on the product page? Should they have their own page? Do we need to create a new 3D model and new rendering process to show what this design will look like on a larger body? Where do we put photographs? It takes a lot of meetings to make decisions on stuff like this. Oh, and we only have one web developer. She’s amazing. We call her Web Queen.

Photography
OMG, shopping for plus size wardrobe for photography was a nightmare. NOW WE UNDERSTAND, YOU GUYS. It can take some time to find badass clothes and shoes that fit with our style, but it is way harder trying to find them in the plus size section. Luckily we already had a model in our pocket, Rachel Ebert, the very first person to leave a comment on our Facebook page asking us for leggings that fit her.

We’re Small!
Our little company has been around for just over a year and we’re still trying to kick ass at all the other aspects of being a startup. We’re still working on selling the product we already have, helping customers, manufacturing and shipping orders, helping artists and processing their submissions. You know, the business. We get asked all the time to develop new products — tank tops, sports bras, dresses, shorts — and to add new features like customizable inseam and waistband options. That all sounds great! But we can’t tackle all of it at once. Today we decided to tackle plus size.

So we launched 20 designs in 3XL and 4XL because done is the engine of more, because perfect is the enemy of good. We will never stop working (because we like our work) but today we want to share what we’ve already done with the rest of the world because we’re really proud of it.

The Non-Compliant Revolution

I am supposed to be writing a blog post about our beta plus size collaboration with comics writer Kelly Sue DeConnick but all the positive vibes / happy energy / goodwill for humankind have been turned up to 11 for the last seven days and my heart keeps fluttering and I can’t concentrate

EVERYONE IS WORKING SO HARD ON THIS AND I AM VERKLEMPT

TALK AMONGST YOURSELVES

::collects self::

::straightens glasses::

Ok. So. This all started five months ago when our plus size fitting parties were tagged #noncompliant on Kelly Sue’s tumblr. “Non-compliant” is a reference to the comic she writes, Bitch Planet, where women who don’t conform to strict patriarchal standards are sent away to be imprisoned for their attitudes, body shapes, age, etc. Fans of the comic identify with the characters, because let’s face it, most of us are several steps away from the glossy ideals set up for us by magazines. We approached her about making a design and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to do a full size run experiment. She got together a Bitch Planet design, and we got together a new size chart. Initially these were only going to be available for preorder & pickup at her Rose City Comicon booth, but instead we all thought it best to open these up to the world at large and put up a product page on our website. On August 26, a teaser was posted to Twitter, which elicited these responses.

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And on August 28, the design was officially announced available for purchase. It got really big and really exciting really fast.

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And HOLY SHIT did fans respond. They posted, they favorited, they retweeted. The fanfare got picked up by The Mary Sue and The Daily Dot. The orders came in like a wave, except it wasn’t a wave, because waves ebb. It was a flood. Nonstop all weekend. We started production on Saturday, hoping that by working all weekend we’d get everything out in time, but there were so many orders that we missed our initial shipping deadlines (sorry!). They are all in the mail now! Some orders that went out Monday have already started arriving. This video shows how excited we were about the first large batch to go out.

 

All of this means so much to us because the world is proving they want what we have set out to make: awesome leggings for everyone. We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s easier to do it when progress is celebrated with this much enthusiasm. So THANK YOU for cheering us on and using your purchases to vote for more plus size leggings. If you want to keep up with the plus size project, sign up for our newsletter.

P.S. We’re going to Rose City Comicon later this month and hoping to find a giant crew of women all wearing their Non-Compliant leggings! We’ll be seeking out spandex-clad girl gangs to give them fist bumps and mad props.

Extending Our Size Range: 2XL is Live!

Beautiful Bombshells, our mission to expand our size range is making some serious progress. For starters, we are so pleased to now carry designs up to 2XL! This is a great start as we keep working towards offering sizes up to 6XL.

plus size leggings tights

Amazing activists, artists, and supporters with the Bombsheller team at our last fitting party.

Over the past year or so, we’ve been collecting measurements and feedback from people of all body shapes and sizes. We had a basic sewing pattern for our leggings, but we needed data and testers to help us refine how they fit on different bodies. After months of collecting info, we incorporated the feedback we received and made some changes to our pattern. The result is a fit that we feel pretty good about, and that lots of amazing people had a hand in making. For this, we are eternally grateful!

plus size leggings tights

In addition to being a total Bombshell, Angela is a talented seamstress and gave us some great feedback on our newest pattern.

Now that we’ve got the fit dialed in, we’re faced with a different problem: scaling the artwork. As the leggings go up in size from XS to 6XL, the ankle cut zone varies greatly, so designs on the lower legs get cut off as the size scales up. You can see how the cut lines change on our design submission template for a better idea of how this works.

plus size leggings tights template

Note the ankle lines for each size on our new design template

As you can see, there’s a lot of leg that disappears. On many designs, like ones with a repeating pattern, this doesn’t make a big difference. But for other designs, this can drastically change how the leggings look.

For example, imagine a pair of XS black leggings with flames coming up the legs from ankle to knee. Due to our scaling, each size would lose more and more of the flame design, until finally only a plain pair of black leggings would be left. That means if you ordered these in a 6XL, you’d end up with something totally different from what you thought you were getting. That’s a problem!

This is the reason why we don’t yet offer 2XL in all of our designs, and why the other sizes are taking some time to release. We’re working hard to find a solution that works for our artists and our customers and will keep everyone updated as we move closer to offering Shells for lovely legs of all shapes and sizes.

plus size leggings tights athletes

Lounging in #Opal by Trigga

Sign up for our Plus Size Mailing List and we’ll keep you posted on our extended size range.